About the COVID-19 Vaccine
Are vaccines safe?
Vaccines have been tested in large populations made up of all ages, sexes, races, cultures, and health conditions. All vaccines have been shown to be safe and do prevent serious illness and death. Ask your doctor if there is any reason you should not get the vaccine.
- World Health Organization – Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration – COVID-19 Vaccines
- Johns Hopkins Medicine – Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?
- Mayo Clinic Health System – COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Debunked
- European Medicines Agency – Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
- National Law Review – Bioethics in a Pandemic: Vaccine Research and Clinical Trials
How are COVID-19 vaccines made and how do they work?
Five vaccines are available worldwide. Three are available in the United States (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). Pfizer and Moderna are “Messenger RNA” (mRNA) vaccines. The Johnson and Johnson, is called a “carrier” or a “adenovirus” vaccine. The goal of any vaccine is to train your own cells to fight the actual virus when needed.
- UchicagoMedicine – What is an mRNA Vaccine?
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – How mRNA Vaccines Work
- Mayo Clinic – The Johnson & Johnson Adenovirus Vaccine Explained
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – What Are the Ingredients in COVID-19 Vaccines?
- National Human Genome Research Institute – COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Production
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccines: Myths and Truths
- University of California – The COVID Vaccine Came Out Super Quickly. Here’s Why It’s Safe.
- Yale Medicine – Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines: How are they different?
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
- UC Davis Health – How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works, Potential Side Effects and More
- Stamford Health – How the COVID Vaccine Works: A Guide for Parents of Younger Children
COVID-19 vaccine and side effects
There are possible side effects with any vaccine. The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are mild to moderate. In the days following your vaccine you may experience some pain or redness where you got the shot, a fever, feel tired, have a headache, or have chills or diarrhea. Severe reactions are rare.
- World Health Organization – Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines
- Journal of American Medicine Association – Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccine Type and Adverse Effects Following Vaccination
- John Hopkins Medicine – COVID Vaccine Side Effects
Who should NOT get the vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe for most people. Persons with allergies to vaccine ingredients or who have other illnesses should talk with their doctor before they get vaccinated.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – About COVID -19 Vaccines for People with Underlying Health Conditions
- Yale University – Information for Special Populations and the COVID-19 Vaccine
- American Cancer Society – COVID-19 Vaccines in People with Cancer
Why is getting the vaccine especially important for people of color?
People of color are more likely to work in jobs where face to face contact is necessary. Working in jobs with close contact increases the chance of infection. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high heart disease can also increase risk.
- John Hopkins Medicine – Coronavirus in African Americans and Other People of Color
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Introduction to COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
- Center for Biotechnolgy Information, U.S National Library of Science – The Disproportional Impact of COVID-19 on African Americans
Why should I be vaccinated if I have already have had COVID-19?
It is true that most people that have had COVID-19 have at least some immunity. However, that immunity decreases over time. It is important to keep reminding your body to defend itself against the virus. The vaccine can help you do this.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine – COVID Natural Immunity: What You Need To Know
- Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center – Should I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine If I’ve Already had COVID-19?
Should I get my flu vaccine too?
COVID-19 and the flu are different viruses. You need both to protect yourself from each disease. Just like COVID-19, people can become very ill from the flu. It is important to keep yourself as healthy as possible to fight off all viruses and disease.
Why is this so political?
COVID-19 is a new virus. Unfortunately, scientists must learn how this virus works as we go through the pandemic. Dealing with anything new can be difficult, cause confusion, and lead to differences in opinion. The best advice is to pay attention to the science and always question the sources of any information. Always consider the source of information on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Why are people that have been vaccinated still getting COVID-19?
None of the vaccines can promise 100% protection from the virus. However, all vaccines do provide a level of protection from severe illness and death. Numbers of hospitalizations and deaths have been decreasing as more people are vaccinated around the world.
- Johns Hopkins – Breakthrough Infections: Coronavirus After Vaccination
- American Medical Association – What doctors wish patients knew about breakthrough COVID infections
I am pregnant. Should I get the vaccine?
Yes. The vaccine is recommended for pregnant and those trying to get pregnant. Studies even show the protection is passed on to your child through breastfeeding. Contracting COVID-19 while pregnant can increase the risk of preterm birth.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – COVID-19 vaccines while pregnant or breastfeeding
- Yale Medicine – You’re Pregnant: Is it Safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Why Should Get the COVID-19 Vaccine While I am Pregnant?